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When is the Best Time to See the Fall Colors?

Smoky Mountains in the fall with leaves changing colorsAre you planning to see all of the fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains? It’s helpful to know when and where those beautiful fall colors can be found, so we have created a list of what you need to know before you head into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The elevation affects the colors of the Smokies. The higher elevations will turn from the deep greens to brighter colors before the lower elevations. At the higher elevations, colors can begin to change as early as mid-September.

Through the first couple of weeks of October, the fall colors show around an elevation of 4,000 feet. This is the perfect time to make the trip to Clingmans Dome or take a drive down Newfound Gap Road.

At the lower elevations, families can expect to see the bright colors from mid-October through early November. During this time, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be completely covered in vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange.

To truly experience the fall colors of the Smoky Mountains, take advantage of the auto tours and hiking trails throughout the national park. Two of the popular places to visit are the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Cades Cove loop. From these locations, you will be able to see the bright fall colors while experiencing the history of the Smokies. Keep in mind that these roads will be busy, so plan to visit early in the day!

For more information about the fall colors, take a look at Visit My Smokies’ page about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There, you will find everything you need to know about the Smokies, including auto tours and hiking information.